Monday: Tigers vs. Rays

Johnny Damon does get the start against former longtime teammate Phil Coke, after all. Andy Dirks, meanwhile, shifts back to the third spot against Jeremy Hellickson, while Brennan Boesch moves back to third.


  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Scott Sizemore, 2B
  3. Brennan Boesch, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Victor Martinez, DH
  6. Andy Dirks, LF
  7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  8. Alex Avila, C
  9. Brandon Inge, 3B
P: Phil Coke
  1. B.J. Upton, CF
  2. Johnny Damon, DH
  3. Evan Longoria, 3B
  4. Ben Zobrist, RF
  5. Sean Rodriguez, 2B
  6. Felipe Lopez, 1B
  7. Kelly Shoppach, C
  8. Elliot Johnson, SS
  9. Sam Fuld, LF
P: Jeremy Hellickson


The previous post of the text of yesterday’s dialogue with Leyland does NOT contain the EXPLETIVES DELETED.
I commented on this in the post before that (as a new heading hadn’t been started yet).
It seems to me that media either cowtow to Leyland or pussyfoot around their questions. He should not complain about media as in essence, they take it very easy on him. He’d be crucified in NY, Boston, St. Louis, Chicago or LA.

A Reprise:

I read the article on regarding “2nd guessing”. I am more convinced this is not the man to run this team any longer. This is not a Role Model for young fans, children or grandchildren. This is a stubborn, angry, defensive man with absolutely no grace whatsoever. I know baseball (or any pro sport) needs its characters and its insulation from normal society. It needs to allow athletes space to just be guys in a “club” atmosphere.
But Leyland is beond the pale. We have had some characters with very colourful managing teams before but this man does not feel he has do be nice or respectable to anyone who has a difference of opinon or worse, challenges him on it. It must be difficult in dealing with media. But they are doing theri jobs. Some are good, some bad, some are learning the ropes. They should not all be painted with a very broad brush by this grumpy old man.
A number of years ago I met the man at a seattle game. He was reluctantly polite and purposefully gruff but I was impressed with him and said that this guy is a real manager with the adjectives “old school” being OK. I liked the way he seemed to be in charge of things.
The last few years I have observed him becoming too adverserial and to belligerent. I think his managerial skills have eroded. Given the complete package I will say that I believe the tiger would be better off without him.
The text of the MLive article:
DETROIT — It seemed to start innocently enough. But Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland quickly got a bit riled up.

Jeff Riger of WXYT-FM 97.1 “The Ticket” asked Leyland a question about how much second-guessing he has received for pulling Rick Porcello from the game Sunday after Porcello had pitched eight innings of one-hit ball in a 2-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Here is how the exchange went:

Riger: Does it ever amaze you the amount of second-guessing you get?
Leyland: That’s you guys. You’re a radio guy, aren’t you? Well, that’s radio stuff.

Riger: But fans as well?
Leyland: I think that’s the entertainment business. I think that’s what we’re in. And I don’t blame any fan, ever, who second-guesses taking out Rick Porcello. I don’t blame somebody like that. But I don’t listen to talk shows, guys who don’t know (expletive) about baseball. No. If you’re asking if I listen to those guys, no. If I listen to somebody that has a legitimate second-guess, like the one yesterday, I respect that opinion. It’s not going to change mine. I’ve said a million times, I manage for the fans, not with the fans. I don’t manage with every Tom, Dick and Harry who calls a talk show, I can promise you that. But that one yesterday was a legitimate second-guess. But, you know what, everybody forgets that the Tigers won the game. And if Jose Valverde is not better in the ninth inning than Rick Porcello after eight innings, and Jose Valverde’s a top closer, then we might as well not have a closer. That’s the way I look at it. I don’t get sentimental in all that (expletive) about, oh, he’s got a chance to have a one-hitter. I don’t get into all that (expletive). I’m here to win games and I felt that gave us the best chance to win the game. And we won the game. It could have backfired and I still would have stuck by my decision. So it doesn’t bother me. That’s you guys’ business. That’s what you do for a living. That’s good. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. There’s nothing wrong with talk shows and people’s opinions and having some fun and arguing. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s what you do for a living. But I don’t listen to those people, period.

Riger: I wasn’t talking about those people …
Leyland: No, period.

Riger: I was talking about more the fans though.
Leyland: I don’t manage with the fans.

Riger: No, I know …
Leyland: Let’s get one thing straight. I manage for the fans, not with the fans. Fans have guessed coaches for a thousand years. They’re going to guess them till the cows come home. And that’s fine. That’s fine. There’s a legitimate fan that calls that show that has real interest and has some knowledge and makes some sense. There’s a bunch of other people that call it that don’t know (expletive) about what they’re talking about. They just want to hear themselves on the radio and hear themselves talk. There is some definite legitimate second-guessing, which is fine. That’s the sport. That’s good. They’re interested in the Tigers. They want to know what’s going on. I have no problem with that stuff. But I don’t get into that. It has no bearing on what decision I make. Somebody was chewing my (expletive) out the other day, the fans were second-guessing me because I hadn’t gotten the relievers enough work. Well, if you want me to take (Justin) Verlander and (Max) Scherzer out in the fourth inning from now on and pitch (Brayan) Villarreal and (Enrique) Gonzalez, then I’ll do it for you. Is that what you want? That’s what I’ll do for you. Is that what you want? Because I don’t pay attention to you (expletive) stuff, because that’s what it is. I don’t pay attention to it.

Riger: I just asked a question.
Leyland: Well, I just answered the question.

Riger: Fair enough.
Leyland: Legitimate second-guessing, I have no problem with it. I’m telling you that it was a legitimate second-guess. I said it in the paper yesterday. It’s a legitimate second-guess. I have no problem with that. That’s fine. So why do you want me to comment on it today? Did you read the papers? Did you see what I said? The answer is there.

Riger: The reason I asked the question was because today fans were second-guessing you even though you did win and I just wanted to know what you thought …
Leyland: What do you want me to do about it?

Riger: I just wanted you to comment and you did, so I appreciate it.
Leyland: I commented on it. I don’t blame the fans for second-guessing it. What else do you want me to say? I don’t blame the fans for second-guessing that move. I said it yesterday in my press conference. I explained why I did it. I explained that I didn’t blame them for second-guessing, so what else do you want me to do? What do you want me to say? That I wish I had not done it? No, I’m glad I did it. And I’ll do it again tonight if we have the same (expletive) situation if I think it gives us the best (expletive) chance to win the (expletive) game. Are there any other questions

Thanks Dan.
What a tirade. A simple question went way over the top. Quite ridiculous.
This may be the beginning of the burnout. It really is no way to represent yourself or the team.
Last week G-Man went off on a reporter and found himself in AAA. Can we be so lucky?

Go Tigers.


– Bob

You think Galaraga was sent to AAA because of a tirade against a reporter? That is pretty naive. Look at his pitching numbers that is why he was sent to the minors. If you like choir boys players and managers, you must not have liked the Tigers in the 80s with Jack Morris (who was HATED by the media) and Sparky, who was no choir boy.

Thanks Dan.
Just unbelievable. I take back my opinion that he will last through the season. Though if this maniacal tirade is any indication, they always make sure the whole house burns with them.

Uh………… I don’t like talk radio myself, but I hope this stuff was at least bleeped out? Maybe Jim hasn’t adjusted to the way things are now, but it’s not 1992 anymore. His public personna is lower than low which is a shame, because I have the feeling he’s not the guy we see on TV. He’s an inflexible manager, not stubborn, inflexible. That is not a good thing; witness tonight’s lineup. If a team ever needed new direction, it’s the 2011 Tigers. In the end, I think it will be a saddening experience that he’s stayed too long. Why am I thinking of Woody Hayes right now?

He’s such an a whole, and to think Jim Campbell fired Billy Martin for a lot less.

I’m sure it will/would be a nightmare if he gets fired. I thought he got real ugly when he wanted his contract extended the last time. Made all sorts of comments to the media. Mr. I and Mr D are probably loath to do it, but the guy is killing this team’s spirit and certainly the fans.

Not sure why our guys have such weak ABs. 1st innings for us have not been very good lately.
We just have to get Cab going. He is way down the leader list in HRs and RBI’s. In fact he is the 2nd leading “Cabrera” in both those departments.
This guy carries the team and with everything that has gone in in the off-season and since, that is a large expectation.
He’s certainly capable of catching fire.

Not sure how long the trend can continue, but it is a real shame that the team can’t hit when we are getting the best starting pitching in baseball. I was very dissatisfied before the season when DD stopped his quest for hitters with the signing ov Victor. It was very clear that we needed more hitting than just one guy. Even if Ordonez were to have contributed we were lacking in that respect.
he needs to fix that problem pronto.
I’m amazed that the rotation is able to come out game after game throwing so well knowing that they are unlikely to be supported by a very weak offense.

Trivia uestion:
Would it be Lolich, McLain, Wilson, Sparma and Hiller?
Anyway, those leadoff walks eh?

Man, the Detroit News apologists are quickly out in force – now Tom Gage is trying to spin it as ‘appearing’ to be a Leyland/individual reporter issue.

Just the night to have an energetic manager keeping the SOC stewing.

Not ideal for Charlie here. The Rays have their RHB lineup going for them. I’m sure he is not thining about that one bit. It would be nice to see him come in and shut the door here. I’m pretty tired of seeing other teams have all the success with rookie pitchers!

Brennan is Bloeschst.

alright Dirks! Good for you! Nothing like throwing Furbush into the fire for his first big league pitching gig!

Charlie is throwing very well. Does not look out of place. Let’s hope that continues.

Just for the record, I’m good with bringing in Benoit for the 8th.

Yes, without at least that much of the bullpen (the 8th and 9th) working we have no chance in tight ball games. I think it was wierd the way that JL annon\unced it and that he did it all. We have become very accustomed to saying one thing and doing another over the years though.
I have my fingers crossed that he can solve the riddle that he has shown this year.

I sure like BB when he loses that uppercut. Line drives are what he should be all about. He hits the gaps and his base-running energy becomes apparent. Far more useful than lazy flies and pop-ups.

Inge walks—and in my books you make something happen with Aj and bunt.

Like the way Mario uses the word “confab”.

It is out of respect.

Finally, the offense contributes. Each of the 3-4-5-6-7 hitters have contributed tonight.

Baseball! – What a game it is.
2 out and nobody on then the wheels come right off.
He’s in real trouble now.
BTW—somebody please get a fungo bat and hit some pops to Cabby. He is awful on foul pops.

Stats can be misleading. JVIII throws terrible, came close to letting the game get tied up and he doesn’t get tarred with a blown save.
Can you imagine the furor if he had done this last night?
Good to see the offense get some solid , key hits.

Good to see the hitters get in sync. Kind of how it’s supposed to work. I hope people are patient with Benoit. He takes alot of time between pitches.

It was strike three on the first bat for Furbush.
Boesch knows to play baseball and is really fast.
Martinez believed it was foul and still reached second easily.
Cabrera was given a chance for redemption in the same inning.
Benoit is begining to recover ,
Valverde has never recovered from the 50 throws against Boston.
Will Furbush have a spot start

Who is out with Magglio back?

Three more quick comments on the Porcello game then I’m done with it………..until it comes up again. 🙂
1. Tom Gage always looks at both sides of an issue. It’s a good quality to have.
2. Why is Leyland listening to talk radio in the first place? If he wants intelligent comment, he should check out the various discussion boards and blogs. After reading them awhile, you become familiar with who knows his/her stuff and who doesn’t.
3. My problem with pulling Porcello had little to do with getting Rick a complete game and much to do with using Valverde when it wasn’t necessary. I thought it was just a bad baseball decision, nothing “sentimental.”
Furbush was excellent tonight and deserves tons of credit for the win. He kind of had the advantage of how it transpired, as there were slightly less expectations from this emergency appearance. I was worried that he would not throw enough warmup tosses. You get as many as you want in that situation but, with everyone waiting for you, I’ve seen even veteran pitchers say they were ready before they really were, with disastrous results. If Charlie can stay around the plate and keep it down like tonight, there’s no reason why he can’t have success.
I do like to get Boesch running the bases. That’s fun. I wish he’d get away from that big uppercut swing he’s gone back to.
It was compelling tonight when Maddon pitched to Cabrera and got burned, then later tried Martinez and got burned. Joe started that whole intentional walk business last season in the Tampa series, so it was a good night to see our mid-winter acquisition strategy work out.
Verlander for nine tomorrow night!

I pretty much agree with your Porcello comment Rich. It’s basically how I saw it. Why waste your closer. Again last night, why was Valverde used with a 5 run lead. On Sunday with one out and a runner on first, the idea was to bring in a hitter to take a shot at getting another insurance run. I was sort of OK with that. I remember being a bit surprised with the move but it wasn’t so much about getting or not getting RP the complete game. It was just that his pitch count was at 84 plus he pitched very strong 7th and 8th innings. He could have finished. My thought, maybe more after the fact, was that Porcello could have bunted the runner over to second which would have given the Tigers one last shot at scoring the 3rd run. So I’m not all that upset with JL’s decision. What bugs me about JL is how he repeats himself so many times, saying something like, I’m not going to say any more about that. That’s all I’m going to say about that. I’m not going to say anything about that any more. I’m tired of talking about that. That’s for you guys to talk about……and on and on.

I was curious about Valverde being used last night too with the cushion we had, save him for the actual closing, unless of course he was already too warmed up for the ninth.

Boesch is fun to watch run, for a tall guy he can move and that was a great avoidance at home plate last night. He just looks so out of balance when he is hitting right now. I loved the double, good , pulled line drive but the next at bat he was out of sync again. Hope he can find it, he is a valuable tool when he is more consistent.

It was fun last night seeing the way Miggy and VMart get along, they seem like the dynamic duo and how fun to see our #5 hitter doing so much damage. And VMart is the veteran of the 2 so he is one that wouldn’t be intimidated to put Miggy in his place every once in a while, at least in my opinion.

Hopefully Coke’s bone bruise isn’t too bad, he was pitching well again, but kudos to Charlie – holy cow, how exciting for him.

You hit upon the reason, Tiger Girl. No one else was warmed up because the runs came late in the innning. If you rush, say, Perry into the game and he gets into trouble, everyone is on JL yet again. I don’t know why these closers have to be such nut cases. Nothing wrong with the move in my book.

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